Via Vittorio Emanuele
A scene from the street.. This is the main street that divides the city in two.. In the intersection of Via Vittorio Emanuele with Via Maqueda you'll find " Quattri Canti" that divides Palermo in four.
To have more info on "Quattro Canti" visit my "Palermo, must see activities" tips. 8)
A Local Speciality
Opened in 1834, the Anticca Focacceria San Francesco is one of the city's oldest restaurants. It sells a wide range of authentic Sicilian cuisine, encompassing pastas, pizzas, seafoods - pretty much every speciality seems to be covered. They also offer a selection of dishes from around the world. The ground floor is a tavola calda - a fast food café, serving ready-made food and snacks and with a relatively limited menu. Upstairs there are a couple of floors of restaurant, where the choice of dishes is much wider and the food made to order. The restaurant thus caters for both casual dining and a more full-on dining experience. The usual thing in Italy is to start with antipasti, then take a first course of pasta and then a second course of meat. Personally I found just a single course plenty with a few antipasti. It was hard not to be tempted by the selection of sweets displayed by the waiter, but I just about managed. The prices are very reasonable, especially considering the quality. We all enjoyed our meal immensely and it would be a shame to choose one dish; I would probably suggest you try Spaghetti alla Norma, a sicilian speciality. From the antipasti, I particularly liked the panelle, which are fritters made from chick pea flour.
La Vucciria is the market that hides in the narrow side streets of Palermo, not far from the railway station. This is where you can buy your fish: wriggling octopus, translucent squid, huge slabs of swordfish. Look, too, for Sicilian fruit, tumbling from the stalls.
ETNA VOLCANO has the longest record of volcanic activity with the first historic eruption in fifteen hundred years BC. It has erupted many since then and is almost continuously venting gas and steam.
The Cathedral (Assunta) (Holy Virgin-Assumtion)
The Cathedral presents its lenghth along its S. side parallel to the Corso V. Emanuele (where we first saw it in our Travelogue), behind a long parvis-garden. Its Gothic W. front door is closed. The style after 200 years of building ultimately ended as Catalan Gothic, but significant Baroque remodelling occurred in the 18C.As can be seen much of the patterning is Norman-Arabic in character very similar to S, Cataldo. As can be seen many of the window arches and other similar structures are barely pointed and the towers are Norman and the military feel is everywhere
"The South Porch"
We will enter through the large S. Porch. It is supported on 3 antique columns and has at it edges broad Gothic piers.The pediment contains a delicate bas relief of the Annunciation and fine arabesques, below are saints, some looking more like war heroes, and below over the arches a faint ancent paint-work of 1296(recently uncovered)
As we would expect before entering, this is an immensely long church. It has a nave and 2 aisles with chapels In front of the massive pillars are statues. Near the entrance off the right aisle, the first 2 bays are devoted to the Royal Tombs.
"The Royal Tombs"
There are 6 royal tombs situated here. Three are to the left. Here you can see a canopied porphyry tomb of Henry VI, and on the wall to the rt. a Roman sarcophagus with the body of Constance of Aragon. Hidden deeper in the are is another canopy over a sarcophagus Roger's daughter also a Constance.
The Gaginis as a group made a large altar for the church but during the Baroque period it fell out of fashion, was remved and disassembled. The many statues of saints are lined up in front of the columns of the nave. Near the back on the rt is Lucy.
In the N. Aisle nearby is a stoup or font by Domenico the first of the Gagini. It has fine bas relief carving. It is from about 1480. The upper panel shows Christ's baptism and the lower one has Adam and Eve (sinning?)
"Look at the Door as you go out"
If you missed the door coming in, do not miss it on your way out. It is a fine piece of wood carving (1432). Incidentally the portal itself is well designed and executed (1426). The doors are behind protective glass.
"A Final View of the West Facade"
This is the oldest structural artwork of the church (presumably 1352, but not the statues). Hard to see is the small Virgin and Child at the top of the arch. (She had best hold him tight as the traffic in the via Bonello where I am standing is the wildest in Palermo!.The bands across the arch are similar to those done earlier but now the alternation with mosaic has been discontinued.We did not visit the Palazzo Arcivescovile with its Museo right where I was standing, because we were getting churched-out.